ASEAN now has a new dialogue partner. The addition came after Britain officially agreed to become an ASEAN dialogue partner which previously consisted of only China, the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and New Zealand.
The country has proposed to become an ASEAN dialogue partner since June 2020. By becoming a Dialogue Partner, the UK will formalize its relationship with ASEAN, including attending the annual Foreign and Economic Ministers' meeting and other Ministerial-level meetings.
Britain's participation as a dialogue partner of ASEAN, can make the 10-member organization expand the discourse on Cooperation and play its role not only in the ASEAN region but beyond. As is known, the UK is a country that has considerable influence in the European Union. It is also very likely, the UK's participation as a dialogue partner, will be able to increase understanding and cooperation for the Indo Pacific region. ASEAN can discuss more broadly important issues such as transnational crimes and maritime security. England in history was recorded as a country with not so wide land and sea area, yet had triumphed in the sea due to to its naval power. Thanks to its wide influence, English has now become the main international language of communication and has become the main foreign language taught in schools, including in Indonesia.
But in addition to the benefits that ASEAN will get, the UK can actually benefit from its status as an ASEAN dialogue partner. Britain's exit from the European Union membership which brings economic consequences, is very possible to be balanced by becoming a dialogue partner of ASEAN which consists of 10 countries, including Indonesia. Data shows that the value of trade between the UK and ASEAN in more than a year until the last quarter of the 2021 is worth more than 32.3 billion euros.
The principle of mutual complementarity, mutual giving, and mutual acceptance and seeking joint solutions to increase benefits, must always be put forward in relations between countries. Be it bilaterally, multilaterally, or through regional organizations.